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2017 NFL Draft: Jonnu Smith Scouting Report

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NCAA Football: Old Dominion at Florida International Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Player name: Jonnu Smith

H/W: 6'3 248

Position: Tight End

School / Class: Florida International / Senior

Measureables: 4.62 40, 38" vertical jump, 127" broad jump, 4.18 20 yard shuttle, 11.57 60 yard shuttle

The Tape

Hail Mary vs MTSU

2014 vs Louisville

2017 Combine workout

Draft Highlights

Strengths:

  • Athleticism - He's a very smooth athlete. Doesn't waste many steps getting to where he's going. Lateral agility is a major plus. Knows when to accelerate and decelerate on a dime. Ran a respectable 4.62 40 at the Combine. Amongst the leaders in the agility drills for his position. A great athlete for the position. Footwork is a thing of beauty. Explosive vertical threat due to above average speed.
  • Versatility - Smith was used literally everywhere as a offensive threat for FIU. He was pretty much the only weapon that defenses had some respect for. Lined up in the slot, outside, on the line, and as a running back throughout his career. The versatility aspect will help the team tremendously when roster cuts have to be made. FIU tried to move him around to disguise him against better defenses and it worked for the most part. His specialty is operating out of the slot receiver position but can play outside in a pinch.
  • Experience - Smith played a ton of snaps throughout his four years in school. He's seen a lot of different defenses and offensive schemes. Relatively stable coaching staff during his tenure.
  • Character - Teammates and coaches have raved about his work ethic and character. A Philly native that moved down to Florida in high school. J-Rob is on record stating that he loves Smith's makeup as a person. I tend to agree as the incident with his former girlfriend could have escalated into something worse but he held back (although being burned tends to hamper any type of reaction but it takes a lot of will power not to respond in a negative manner).

Weaknesses:

  • Blocking - Something about the saying of the mind is willing but the body isn't. He's a willing blocker but needs a ton of work. In the Louisville game, he's just there as a turnstile. Repeatedly got blown back by the defender right into the ball carrier. Needs a lot of coaching on blocking fundamentals.
  • Hands - Not the greatest in the world with 10 drops over the past two years. Doesn't really use them in blocking either like he's happy to make the effort but won't finish the play. Has been labeled as a body catcher instead of a hands catcher.
  • Frame - Can he add weight to it without looking like a mess? 240-45 is probably an ideal range for him given his athleticism. It will be interesting to see what the team wants out of him in this regard.

Notes

FIU was woefully terrible during Smith's stay in Miami. He was recruited by former FIU HC turned Alabama OL coach Mario Cristobal but was coached by Ron Turner. Turner is a vaguely familiar name to Titans fans as he's served on the Colts coaching staff for a brief period of time. He also had experience as a NFL OC with the Bears. Smith was on the national radar when he made headlines in 2016 through no fault of his own. His pregnant girlfriend at the time poured boiling water on him for allegedly not spending enough time with her. The burns he suffered did force him to miss the remainder of the season. A two star recruit that made his way up the ranks of big time college football with only ONE scholarship offer (a familiar tune now given J-Rob's draft tendencies).

Final Summary

Yes, I like the pick but was initially surprised when it happened. After further research, I fully endorse Smith being Delanie Walker's heir apparent. The best thing is that he's walking into a comfortable situation where he doesn't have high expectations placed on him right away. He can learn at the feet of one of the best tight ends in the game along with a former TE for a HC. The positional versatility has me really intrigued to see where he's utilized. His presence could bump Jalston Fowler off the roster if things shake out that way. He can be a perfect TE2 in the multiple tight end schemes that the team prefers to use and TE1 in due time. A lot of the weaknesses in his game are correctable ones with the right coaching. While he likely won't be targeted much due to the pecking order in front of him but expect him to ease the heavy burden on Mr. Walker.

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